Huddersfield Town fell victim to a Burton Albion smash-and-grab yesterday, with Australian international Jackson Irvine netting the 96th minute winner for the Brewers.
Town dominated the possession but could not break down a steely Burton back line and frustrations spilled over when Dean Whitehead was sent off for a second bookable offence in the final minutes.
The loss dents Town's automatic promotion hopes, with play-off football now looking increasingly likely as Town sit six points behind second-placed Brighton.
Town still have a game in hand on the Seagulls, but with just eight matches remaining, Town can ill afford too many more slip ups.
Here Rory Benson reflects on the disappointing defeat to the Brewers.
1. Town desperately miss the Chelsea loanees
Despite the Terriers dominating possession, there weren't too many clear-cut chances for the men in blue and white.
Out of Town's 18 shots, 13 were on target, but eight were blocked by Burton players. Two of the remaining five came form outside the area.
When a side fails to score - especially at home - it's too easy to blame the strikers for failing to take their chances, but Collin Quaner - along with Nahki Wells and Elias Kachunga later in the match - didn't have any chances to take.
A lack of creativity from open play, coupled with some tough tackling and resolute defending by Burton, suffocated any Town threat.
Both Izzy Brown and Kasey Palmer can unpick defences with moments of pure class - something Town could desperately have used yesterday.
2. Van La Parra frustrates
Rajiv Van La Parra was sensational against Brentford last month and was one of the players trying to make things happen in a poor team performance against Bristol City, but he took a step back yesterday.
The Dutchman held on to the ball too long and slowed play down too often when he should have been running at the Burton back four or whipping a cross into the box.
The winger is incredibly talented, but needs to be more decisive in the final third when confronted by an organised back line.
If he could add some Kachunga-style consistency to his game, he would become a real stand-out player.
3. Town's midfield options are running low
With Dean Whitehead receiving a red card, Town are now struggling for cover in midfield.
The ex-Stoke City man joins injured trio of Jonathan Hogg, Brown and Palmer on the sidelines, leaving just Aaron Mooy, Philip Billing, Jack Payne and Regan Booty as the only available recognised central midfielders.
Luckily, the injured men are all expected to return in the coming weeks, but with the games coming thick and fast in the run-in, it is essential Town get them back as soon as possible.
4. It's too early to talk about form
As the play-offs rapidly approach, talk switches from quality within a side to the form they take into the post-season.
Last season, an in-form Sheffield Wednesday knocked third-placed Brighton out of the play-offs, adding to the belief that form trumps quality in the end-of-season lottery.
But it's too early to talk about Town coming off the boil on the approach to the play-offs.
For starters, with seven matches still to play, it is possible one of the top two could collapse, and secondly, it's the time of the season when relegation-threatened sides begin to fight for their lives.
Town have come up against two teams scrapping for survival recently. Losses against such sides, although painful, are not uncommon.
5. A draw wouldn't have helped
A defeat is tough to take, but is understandable as Town piled men forward in the dying minutes to try to find a winner.
At this point in the season, David Wagner's side are aiming for wins, and a draw becomes two points dropped rather than one gained.
With Town now nine points behind Brighton - with a game in hand - wins are all the Terriers will be searching for in their final eight matches.